My lovely new bride and I took a tour in Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” over the MLK birthday weekend. I had only heard snippets of Eastwood’s cantankerously anachronistic portrayal of Walt Kowalski, an aging, widowed, Korean War hero, hunkered down in his “Archie Bunker” mentality with the ghost of “Dirty Harry” for company.
I sat amazed, though, that after Eastwood launched into his “All in the Family on Steroids” tirade that the crowd of self-help New Agers, with their kids, just roared with jollity. There were no murmurs of contempt from the Kumbaya Crowd. There were no ululations of indignation of this alleged assault of racist language that has been deemed “politically incorrect” from the self-appointed intelligentsia of the “Third Way.”
Now compare this scenario to a recent cancellation of a benefit concert by comedian Carlos Mencia for the Edison Language Academy at the behest of the Association of Mexican American Educators thought police with the concupiscence of the local school board. Is it just me or does it seem a tad pretentious to sit in the safety of a darkened movie theater to snicker and guffaw at the white guy in “race-spew-mode-alpha” and then boldly go out into the daylight and prison punk the brown guy for the same behavior?
I didn’t see Oscar de la Torre protesting outside of the Mann Theater on the Third Street Promenade over any egregious insensitivities to which he may have taken offense that were depicted in “Gran Torino,” some of which Mencia employs as a regular cudgel in his comedic “shock and awe” resume. Additionally, it probably didn’t occur to members of the AMAE that while they were piously protesting and protecting their kidlets from the maniacal Mind of Mencia that their precious little urchins were at home disabling the V-chip on their PC to watch clips of him on YouTube in their absence!
Mencia went to Iraq in 2007 to entertain the troops. He spent more time there than President Obama. Did anybody from the AMAE or the school district do a tour? If a teenager can pack a gun in combat it stands to reason that he/she can weather a little blue streak chatter from scary old Carlos Mencia. There’s a “thank you” video on the Web from the troops attesting to Mr. Mencia’s patriotism. Speaking for myself as a Navy veteran, Mencia has earned his wings in my flight log.
Carlos Mencia carries the mantle of First Amendment Titans Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and the late and fabulously great George Carlin. I may not like everything that they have said but damn are they funny! As a courtesy, I am fully committed to employ my Second Amendment rights against vocabulary fascists in order to protect Mr. Mencia’s right to the First.
Mencia, like Eastwood’s Walt Kowalski, doesn’t mince invectives because, well, he just doesn’t give a damn. Carlos, like Walt Kowalski, suffers no prissy illusions about race, creed, color, religion, sexual orientation or being sensitive to your feelings. Since one’s feelings aren’t mentioned in the Constitution one should just butch up or shut up. Mencia bodyslams the notion that Americans, as a class, have gone from being top dog capitalist red meat predators [his riffs on why we are in Iraq is dead on] into a nation of warm and feely vegetarian wusses. The Kowalskis of the world just look out there and wonder, “What in the hell is the matter with people these days?”
The Kowalskis of the world liked to drink beer, mow the lawn, hang out with their dog and tell jokes that would make Larry Flynt blush. I imagine that Mencia likes to do the same.
The First Amendment is the eponymous “two-way-street.” If you don’t like what someone has said then you should consult a dictionary to whet your verbal claymore and wade back into the thicket of ideas. No words should be “off limits.” The legal doggerel of “hate speech” just keeps ACLU lawyers employed and buying condos in Tahiti. Make “hate speech” illegal and then it goes underground. I’d rather have it out in the open so I can bag it, tag it and then mount its antlers in my foyer. Never let political correctness interfere with free speech.
I have been called every racial epithet except a “white man” except, of course, until recently when I have been compared by my detractors to Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. I guess I’m an honorary white boy now although I think my legs are better than Ann’s but I do have trouble squeezing into a size 0 black mini-dress.
I consider the fictional Kowalskis and the real Mencia as fellow travelers where the only obscene words are the ones left unspoken.
Steve Breen thinks that you are entitled to your own wrong opinion and is still the “best looking mailman at the U.S. Post Office.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.